Giant, Firbolg

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd EditionCampaign Setting Logo

Giant, Firbolg
Climate/Terrain:Temperate/Hills and forests
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Average to genius (8-18)
Treasure:E,Y (M×10,Q)
Alignment:Neutral (chaotic good)
No. Appearing:1-4 or 4-16
Armor Class:2
Hit Dice:13+7
No. of Attacks:1
Damage/Attack:1-10 (weapon) +7 (Str bonus)
Special Attacks:Spells
Special Defenses:Swat away missiles
Magic Resistance:15%
Size:L (10½' tall)
Morale:Champion (16)
XP Value:8,000
Shaman: 9,000

Of all the giant-kin, the firbolg is the most powerful, due to natural intelligence and considerable magical power.

Firbolgs appear to be normal humans, except that they are over 10 feet tall and weigh over 800 pounds. They wear their hair long and keep great, thick beards. Their skin is a normal fleshy pink, with any shade of hair color, although blonde and red are most common. The flesh and skin of firbolgs are unusually dense and tough. Their voices are a smooth, deep bass, thick with rolling consonants.

Combat: Firbolgs can use any large size weapons; they disdain the use of armor or shields. Of manmade weapons, they prefer two-handed swords and halberds, both of which they may use in one hand without penalty. Weapons of their own make are double size equivalents of human weapons, for which they get a Strength bonus (19 Strength, +7 damage). However, when used with both hands, these huge weapons inflict double their normal damage, plus the Strength bonus.

If a firbolg has one hand free, it can bat away up to two missiles per round. Large missiles, such as boulders, or those with long shafts, such as javelins and spears, can be caught if desired. A catch or bat is successful 75% of the time (6 or better on 1d20). A caught weapon may be thrown at any opponent on the next round with a -2 penalty to the attack roll, for using its off hand.

All firbolgs have the following magical powers, usable once per day, on any round they are not engaged in melee combat: detect magic, diminution (as double the potion), fools' gold, forget, and alter self. There is a 5% cumulative chance per member of a group that one of the firbolgs is a shaman of 1st through 7th level.

Firbolgs are cautious and crafty. They have learned to distrust and fear humans and demihumans. If possible they avoid an encounter, either by hiding or with deception. If forced to fight, they do so with great strategy, utilizing the terrain and situation to best effect. They operate as a group, not a collection of individuals. Ten percent of all encounters is a large group of 4d4 members en route to an enclave of some sort.

Habitat/Society: Firbolgs live in remote forests and hills. These giant-kin distrust most other civilized races, and stay well away from them. They keep on even terms with druids and the faerie creatures, including elves, neither asking nor giving much, but avoiding insult or injury. Strangers are met with caution, frequently in illusionary disguise as one of their own race. They do not attack or kill without reason, but do enjoy pranks, particularly those that relieve strangers of treasure.

Firbolg society is close-knit and centered around the family or clan. Each clan has 4d4 members and frequently a shaman. The level of the shaman is determined by rolling 2d4-1 if the DM doesn't wish to choose it himself. The clans live apart from each other, existing as gatherers and sometimes nomads. Their homes are huge, single-storey, wooden houses with stout walls and a central fireplace opening in several directions in the common room. When great decisions are needed, the clans involved meet in an enclave. This happens at least once a year at the fall solstice, just to celebrate if nothing else. The shamans preside over these events, and settle any disputes between clans.

Ecology: Firbolgs live off the land and with it. Their homes are built from trees cleared from around the house. The clan does keep a field for harvest, but only enough to supplement their diet. They trade tasks involving great strength for food, usually with other peaceful folk in the forests or hills. The rest of their food is obtained by gathering and hunting an area up to 20 miles from their homestead. Meat is used in small quantities for most meals, although major celebrations always include a large roast of some sort.

Although many creatures are capable of killing a firbolg, none hunt them exclusively. They are stronger than most forest beasts, and intelligent creatures know better than to mess with them. They avoid true giants, except storm giants, and aggressively repel other giant-kin from their lands.